Man killed in crash while fleeing from Falcon Heights traffic stop


A make-shift memorial for Ryan James Reeves as seen April 25 near the intersection of Hamline and Wynne avenues in St. Paul. According to police, Reeves died after he crashed his car into a tree while allegedly fleeing from police after an April 23 traffic stop in Falcon Heights.

A White Bear Lake man is dead after crashing his car in St. Paul while allegedly fleeing from police after an officer attempted to stop him April 23 in Falcon Heights.

His passenger, a 24-year-old woman from St. Paul, suffered minor injuries in the crash.

St. Anthony police identified the man as 32-year-old Ryan James Reeves. Falcon Heights contracts for police service from the St. Anthony Police Department.

According to police, an officer stopped Reeves, driving a 1999 Buick Century, around 8 p.m. as he headed south on Hamline Avenue at Hoyt Avenue near the border with St. Paul.

As the officer walked towards Reeves’ car, police say, he sped off — the officer got back into his car and followed.

Just more than three quarters of a mile south from where the stop was performed and a minute later, Reeves drove off the left side of the road and hit a tree near the intersection of Hamline and Wynne avenues, according to police.

Officers and first responders provided medical attention to Reeves, who was eventually pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger, identified as Erica Alana Wood, was taken to a hospital.

Some two days after the crash, pink spray paint marked the path of Reeves’ Buick as it veered left towards a sparsely planted section of Como Regional Park. 

A tree just off Hamline had its bark stripped as Reeves’ car evidently grazed it; a tree some 50-feet south was knocked over, its knee-high stump still in the ground.

A memorial to Reeves was another 50-feet further to the south. It was made up of balloons, a sign, votive candles with messages markered on them and an empty bottle of Captain Morgan’s rum. Scraps of Reeves’ car had been gathered near the street.

According to police, Reeves had an outstanding Ramsey County felony warrant for fleeing police in a motor vehicle and a Scott County felony warrant for possession of a controlled substance.

Reeves’ Minnesota criminal history includes many felony convictions and stretches back to 2003. He was convicted of fleeing police in a motor vehicle, car theft, forgery, possession of a firearm by a felon, drug possession and domestic assault, among other minor offenses.

In a similar situation in June, 2016, a 22-year-old man was seriously injured after he crashed his motorcycle in a yard near Hamline University in St. Paul while fleeing from St. Anthony police. 

The motorcyclist was riding through Falcon Heights on Larpenteur Avenue, when he was clocked by police going 64 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour zone. Police attempted to stop him and the man fled at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour, before crashing at Hewitt and Fairview avenues.

 

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813.

 

 

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